i would've probably made it to boston sooner if i took the train. it was starting to get close to the end of the day and there were already traffic jams. i stashed the bike on a street corner in chinatown and walked to katrinka's place a few blocks away. there was a lot of clutter inside as she and brian prepare their move to washington state. she asked how everyone was doing (the old squid country crew), then we ran the application after copying it onto her vintage powerbook. she tried to get me to take a box load of booze they were trying to get rid of but i was more interested in the carpet, which she said she was trying to sell online for $40, but when i expressed interest in buying it, she lowered it to $25, which i paid her right then and there. not sure where i can put that carpet, but ever since i saw it, i wanted to have it. i made tentative plans to come and pick it up before they move.
after visiting katrinka, i went to c-mart in chinatown to buy some groceries: a few ramen packets, some plums, and a package of chinese sausages. i weaved through dense boston city traffic to get myself across the longfellow bridge to kendall square and a familiar ride home. i went next door to buy some last minute items: onion, more drinks, salad greens. the fact that the people shopping at this time of day were far more attractive than the usual star market clientele didn't escape me. 6pm is when the pretty people go food shopping, write that down. i went back out again when i forgot to get light bulbs. i went to the dollar store for those, and while i was there i also picked up some glassware bowls ($1.50/piece).
renata, scheduled to arrive at 7pm, called to ask if she could bring anything. "no, nothing," i replied. there was some awkward silence. "well, see you later," i said. "can i ask you one more thing?" said renata warily. she then quietly asked if she could do some laundry at my place, which i of course said yes (dirty laundry fascinates me). by that time rob had already came home. while i was making the appetizers and rolling the burger patties, rob was out in the backyard starting the fire in my new used weber grill. i snaked my chinese lantern from one of the deck beams so he could see better when it got dark.
renata arrived with a pillowcase full of dirty clothes, as well as a bag full of purple potatoes and a pair of asian water pears. feeling cold, she asked if she could borrow some socks (looks like it's that time of year again when renata has a hard time thermoregulating her body temperature). by then the grill was ready for cooking and we all went outside, circling the warmth of the brickets glowing white hot. besides burgers, i also had chinese sausages, one of which suffered an early demise when it rolled off the grill and into the fiery abyss. the smell of barbecued chinese sausages remind me of taiwanese night life, street vendors hawking all sorts of meat served on a stick. while waiting for the food to cook, we also took the opportunity to roast some marshmellows, one per person. roasting over the controlled heat of brickets is a lot easier than the roaring flames of a campfire.
with the burgers and the sausages cooked, we went back inside. as this was a special occasion, i pulled one of my homegrown tomatoes and sliced it as part of the burger condiments. rob entertained us with childhood stories of being a ninja aficionado, a pyromaniac (his like-minded pyro friend almost set the entire forest of hanover ablaze), and an über-theatre geek (pippin, rob?). we also reminisced on one of my favorite topics, 80's culture, including music, television, and fashion. renata outed me as having dabbled in acid wash jeans, and rob revealed he once memorized the lyrics for "beat street." throughout the whole evening i only had to chase renata once when we tried to erase some "bad" photos i took of her.
with the hours fast approaching 10pm (renata's usual bedtime, being a school teacher and all), it was time for renata to leave. rob and i loaded the washing machine and cleaned up. later, we watched chungking express and i took out the garbage and the recycleables. tomorrow, an early morning appointment to fix lynn's machine, followed by more SRM action. seems like everytime i take a day off, something goes wrong at work, and by the end of the day i'm several distressing e-mails deep in "can you come in tomorrow and stay until everything is fixed?" i don't know whether to be sort of grateful that i'm so needed, or kind of incensed that i seem to be on call 24/7 even when i'm not. it's okay though, i'll have plenty of time once the project's over and i'm sitting at home everyday, jobless but free.